During the summer of her thirteenth birthday, Arie McGinnis discovers three things that change her world and the way she sees herself; her long-missing mom isn't human; Dad has a girlfriend and wants to move to Indiana, taking Arie away from the ocean, her friends, and everything she loves; and childhood friend, Billy Hernandez, wants to be more than friends.
Angry at her parents' deception and confused by her changing emotions for Billy, Arie must make a difficult choice: embrace her non-human side and live with her mom in the fantastical world she has only begun to explore, or stay with her human dad and move away from the only home she has ever known.
With a quirky adventure, complex characters, complicated family dynamics, and a touch of magic, The Secret of the Sea, set in the small town of Laguna Beach, California, explores what it means to grow up and understand that some things are not always what they seem.
Donna Stevenson (Barnard) lives in California and has taught college-level English for almost thirty years, including children's literature and world mythology. She is the author of Sparks: A Reader to Energize Writing, a textbook for developmental and transfer level courses, published by Kendall Hunt, and now in it's fourth revised edition.
The Secret of the Sea is the perfect book for any middle school library and I can't wait to get copies for the one I run! It's a heartfelt coming of age and self discovery story with relatable family dynamics and friendships. The Irish folklore mixed into the story is absolutely delightful. Ms. Stevenson perfectly balances realistic fiction with fantasy!
Robyn Erskine, Middle School Librarian
With a seamless blending of fantasy and reality, The Secret of the Sea will engage middle-grade readers as they explore the enchantment below the sea and set out to solve a mystery on land. The under-the-ocean scenes come to life with vivid description as does the small California beach town. Surfing, sand, sea, and secrets--the perfect adventure for even reluctant readers.
Robert Olinto, Story Editor